Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 21: when choosing failure is the right thing to do…




It started off as a great idea.

31 days of blogging during the month of October, of churning out creative posts, improving my writing speed, and heck, maybe gaining a few more followers.

But I’m learning something about myself …or maybe I should say that I’m being reminded of what I already know about Me.

And it’s this.

I operate in Life by my gut reaction to things; I’d describe it as having an emotional thermometer that resides in my heart and lets me know when things don’t ‘feel right.’ And I don’t spend a lot of time second guessing these kinds of feelings. I honor them because I don’t think relying on our deepest emotions is ‘irrational’ or being ‘led by one’s emotions’ one bit.

I believe this is how we stay in touch with ourselves, how we determine what matters to us at our core.

So today, on Day 21 of October I thought I’d share some red, flashing feelings I’ve been experiencing lately in case you can relate.

When I put this discomfort into words here’s what I’m hearing. 

Blogging everyday means I have to make a choice. (Duh. But there’s a difference between ‘knowing’ something intellectually and knowing it on an emotional level)

Today I’m aware on a gut level that choosing longer, more extensive computer time means that something has to give, and it’s my relationships.

I’m seeing that I don’t have the spontaneous chance to phone a friend. Or visit a blogger that has so graciously left a comment for me. Or that I just want to check in with. In fact,  here’s a recent example when I chose to ‘fail’ at my 31 day blog commitment.

Let’s see. Having our first official beach bonfire or getting a post done?

(You can see what I chose)


Although, because I’m one of those annoyingly conscientious people I actually felt conflict over making this choice. And that’s my observation today.

It’s that I feel more ‘pressed’ for time. It’s observing that yes, I’ve got lots of material   -- photos and ideas—to be shared on my blog, but getting it published daily means sacrificing meaningful moments in my real life.

And this part doesn’t feel good.

I realize its a question we all face daily in our lives. Defining our priorities is always about saying yes to one thing and no to another. For me it’s blogging more, for you it’s something else.

When it comes to my 31 day blogging commitment (that I announced with so much enthusiasm)… the question is not whether there are benefits to me—I love expressing my creative side, feeling more productive, seeing my traffic go up, etc…

The question is whether I’m ok with the costs of these positive outcomes. 

I remember feeling this way when my boys were little. The choices were always there, get my nails done and go shopping for something new to wear to dinner, or slather black paint all over refrigerator boxes for our Halloween haunted maze. Somehow I could never manage it all and so I ended up choosing the memory making stuff. 

But not always without angst. “Why can’t I ever find time to get my nails done!” I’d complain on our way to a special occasion. But the truth is, I did have the time, I know that now. I just chose differently.

And now that I’m through that part of my life—when the kids were little—I realize that my priorities worked for me.

In the end, isn’t this what we all hope for?  When it matters, we make the  choices that are right for us.

Really. We’re all just doing the best we can. But I think that figuring out our priorities and living our lives accordingly means that of course we will ‘fail’ at some things. In fact, choosing to fail at certain endeavors may be the absolute right choice at the moment.

But at least when we fail, they will be the things that matter less in the end…

to our deeper selves.




Tell me, can you relate to this post?



p.s. I may or may not be back tomorrow.

Even though I can’t wait to show you how to create my Fall Tablescape,

I’m still trying to get my Halloween entry decorated, and Kirsten and John are coming to town which is so exciting!

So until next time… trust those gut reactions.








Monday, October 20, 2014

it’s Gallery Wall Reveal Day!




Hooraaaay! Mission Accomplished.

Well. It’s Reveal Day for the Gallery Wall Design Project and as you can see, I chose the black and white vintage flower prints for my wall.


You can check out Week 1 for my gallery inspiration and Week 2 to see some Before shots of this room.

I’d mentioned that when it comes to art work I always seem to gravitate towards vibrant color so for this gallery wall I decided to get out of my comfort zone.


Most of you voted for this same decision. Although some readers like Marilyn, worried these prints would lack that certain pizazz against the gray wall.

Maybe look a little blah.


And as a color aficionado, I totally knew what she meant.

So today I created a Fall tablescape in shades of gold to show you how versatile a neutral background can be.


If you’re a regular visitor to my blog you know how much I love to give you ideas for your own table, so I’ll be sharing details in a later post.



But for now you can see how these white $7.99 Ikea frames really pop out against

the BM Kendall Charcoal walls.

And I have to tell you, I’m really loving my new gallery wall.


Only it’s tough to get a shot without the glare on the prints; I’m still trying to learn how to get good photos in here. So let me show you the gallery wall in the mirror.


To keep this room from looking a tad too precious, I layered a cowhide rug over the sea grass and added a bar cart.


DSC_0388 (2)

You can see how I used thrift store finds to style this bar cart HERE.

After painting this room along with the chandelier, and adding the gallery wall, the final thing-to-do  in here is to add simple bamboo shades to the window. I think the honey color and woven texture of the shades will add some warmth to all the white and gray.





Thanks so much for joining me today and for all your great input…

and thank you Mary Ann and Cindy for including me with all these talented ladies. It was so fun and the best part was that it forced me to actually finish a room in our new home!

  As some of you know, we’ve recently moved into a smaller home in a beach community and we now live in a fixer-upper-soon to-be-beach-cottage. So if you like to see lots of Before and After pictures you’ll want to come back because I plan on bringing you guys along for the adventure.

And now…drum roll please…. it’s time to find out what everyone else did with their own gallery walls. I can’t wait!

project design logo 


Design Chic

Design Indulgence

Driven by Décor

5th and State

Lovely Things

Rough Luxe

Talk of the House

Classic • Casual • Home






Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 18: have you decorated your entry yet?


I’m just wondering….











The other day I saw this charming Halloween idea that I want to copy.


happy 18th day of October!






Friday, October 17, 2014

day 17: how I styled my bar cart: Before and After




(inspiration photo; source unknown)


A few weeks back I saw this bar cart in Target and I snapped this photo so I could walk around with it and decide whether or not I really ‘needed’ it. Do you do this too?


(BEFORE photo)

Well, by the time I got to the front of the store I’d already decided. Yes. I need that cart!

So back I went down the aisle and bought this cute cart home, only later finding out it was from the new Wit and Delight line now at Target. I’ve been a follower of theirs for a long time and knew there was a reason I thought it looked so cool.

So where’s it going?

DSC_0227 (2)

Well… as some of you already know, right now I’m participating in a Gallery Wall Design Project organized by two incredible designers, Cindy from Rough Luxe and Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home.  Since my wall happens to be in the dining room, I’m sprucing up the whole space and when I saw this bar cart I knew it belonged beneath my future gallery wall.

If you Google how to style a bar cart you’ll find lots of photos and blog posts on the subject, but I don’t hear many people talking about styling a practical bar cart.

In other words, the first question you should ask yourself when setting up your own cart is a basic one. What do we really drink?

Really. Not what looks trendy and cool in the design world, but what kinds of liquor do you actually drink in real life?

Our answer is wine and good imported beer. Pretty much that’s it. Oh, and the hubby likes his favorite Scotch.

So I decided to keep our bar cart pretty simple. I found these following items at the thrift store:


two silver trays ($2.99 and $3.99)

A quirky gold pineapple candle holder ($1.99)

A  silver slightly bent candy dish  ($2.99)


And I bought this little wine rack from The Container Store that I attached to the bottom of the upper shelf with a few screws.

Voila!  Accessible glasses.



Napkins from TJ Maxx and fresh flowers.



I got lucky with those trays, they looked great once they were washed.


DSC_0352 (2) 


This is the only shot I can show you without spoiling my gallery wall question.

Did I use the color prints or the black and white ones on my wall?

What do you think?

Don’t forget Monday is the big reveal for the gallery wall project and you’ll get to see how everyone’s walls turned out.




But before I go, here’s a sneak peek of the Fall tablescape I just finished

and you can see more of this table on gallery wall “Reveal” day….!

In the meantime,

I hope you’re enjoying the 17th day of October.






Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day 15: thought for the day




Hi, my name is Leslie and I’m a worrier.

I’m announcing it here

like I would if I were in a big circle of chairs filled with people who begin each meeting by announcing their personal struggle to the world.

I’m not embarrassed to admit it, this is what I struggle with, I worry.

And my journey is about learning to let go, to live in the moment and to have faith, this is what I’m always working on.


Although most of the time I’m like that kid in the Bruce Willis movie who says, “I see dead people” except my line is, “I see all the bad things that just might happen”—especially when it comes to my kids. Late at night. When they’re not answering their damn text messages.

note to myself:



So the other day when I stumbled on this short article entitled,

“How to be happier in just one minute,”

it made my little old heart sing. Seriously I really loved it. No, it contains nothing new and earth shattering but I hope you read it. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about life, it’s that timing is everything.

And today this one simple question is working for me.

It seems to have the power to instantly jolt me out of my negative mind-set-- which is what worrying is-- for just a hair breath of a second.  Which turns out, is enough time for me to catch myself and allow the door to gratitude to crack open a bit. 

In case you don’t have time to read the article here’s the question to ask yourself when  your mind’s whizzing out of control and you’re feeling stressed out, worried or down.

Ok. Are you ready?

Ask yourself this:

Am I focusing on what is going right or what is going wrong right now?

And the key—for me—are those two last words.

Right now. Right this second.

Because that’s all any of us have, right?  This one. Precious. Moment.

And I sure don’t want to waste it worrying.



If you read the article let me know what you think.

I always love to hear from you.

By the way, I’ve figured out that the worst thing about blogging every day in October is that I’m having a terrible time responding to my comments. Believe me, I treasure each one and I’m trying to respond..it just might take a while.

Happy 15th of October!








Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Day 14: Halloween Entertaining…




Hello everyone!

Well… here we are.

Today is the 14th day of October and believe me, my personal challenge to blog every day in October is definitely making me aware of each passing day.

(It’s also making me question my sanity, but that’s a whole other topic)

On October 5th I got this touching message from an old friend back home and it inspired today’s post. 



Boy did this make me feel good. And it brought back all those fabulous years of Halloween fun that I’ll always treasure. Thank you Kim, I miss you all too. I really do.

But even though I’m not throwing big parties anymore, I’m still always on the look-out for those spooky little creatives who come up with ideas like the ones in this post.

When I saw this gorgeous Halloween photo shoot at Design Love Fest 

I just had to show you. Can you believe this backdrop?


If you’re like me, you look at all the details.

The color of the candles. The centerpiece. The choice of candlesticks. The color of the pumpkins. And you pay special attention to how simple items are transformed.

I love everything about this Halloween table but I especially appreciate:

the use of gray candles

the use of Pampas grass for interesting texture (why didn’t I ever think of this?)

the absence of orange pumpkins



and my favorite new idea?

These cheap, thrift store trays that can be spray painted with chalk paint and displayed with messages written in flowing white calligraphy.

How cool is this?

You can visit the site to see more of these photos and to get these cocktail recipes.


Here’s a gothic version.

I spy some black sprayed painted branches used in the centerpiece with red candles and a black velvet ribbon blended with old silver looking pieces…

The Addams Family inspired Halloween tablescape at Camille Styles.


2caecf42172dfd4e3da20f61c58c206d.jpgfinding home

I spy silverware tucked into black gloves and shining gold pumpkins as place cards. And a hint of web material under the white plates.


Silver candle sticks with black candles and black serving pieces…

and those eggs!



And in case you missed my Spooky Chic table ideas

you can go HERE to check out my white gloved place card. It’s my latest favorite creation.

Seeing all these pictures really gets my creative juices flowing… and as soon as I finish my Design Project Gallery Wall, I have a ghost themed tablescape I can’t wait to tackle.



So tell me,

do you entertain at Halloween?






I’m linking this post up with these friends.

Please visit these wonderful bloggers when you get a chance:







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